- We are what we do and will receive back what we do (each son was identified by – and received back as blessing or curse, what they had done) (1-27, 28 – “This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him”; Mat 16:27).
- Loving Parents will proclaim their children’s wickedness as much as they do their righteousness/obedience (versus defending or feeling sorry for them) (1-28).
- Parents are not to be respecters of persons – especially their children (1-28).
- Our descendants will reap what we sow (1 – “in the days to come” = period of time beyond their lives – i.e. in the lives of their descendants; Exo 20:5).
- Demonic/Destructive tendencies will cause a person to forfeit God’s blessings (Rueben, Simeon and Levi, 1-7; Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher and Naphtali, 13-21).
- Christian/Constructive tendencies will cause a person to gain God’s blessings (Judah, 8-12; Joseph and Benjamin 22-27).
- We are called to highly honor those who are just, merciful and faithful people (Judah, Joseph and Benjamin) (8-12, 22-27).
- Death for the righteous is a gathering to a great family of mighty saints and holy angels whereas death for the wicked is a gathering to a great family of monstrous sinners and horrific demons (29, 33 – “gathered to my/his people”).
- The righteous look forward to death as going home whereas the wicked avoid it knowing that it means they are leaving their home (29-33 – “gathered to my people” = going home; “drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last” = got ready and gave into dying versus fighting it).
- Planning for our death means planning to end up in God’s promised land versus worrying about our funeral or funeral procession (The Egyptians cared more about the funeral and this is what was also remembered by the pagans in the land versus Jacob/Joseph who cared about getting dad into the promised land. Hence the reason he was embalmed; 1-14, also 22-26).
- Trusting in God’s sovereignty (God is successfully controlling all things to His and His peoples’ good and glory though men may be attempting to do us and our world harm) is what keeps us not only from rebellion in the bad times (e.g. Joseph’s slavery) but also retaliation in the good times (15-21).
- No matter how successful and blessed they are, those who are faithful are always thinking and acting in relation to the endgame/their death (22-26).
- God can remove prosperity or bring great trials as a means to moving us in the direction of our greatest blessings (1-22 w/46:4).
- Don’t get too comfortable with what God has promised to be temporary (1-22 w/46:4).
- God prepares the soil before He plants the seed He intends to grow/direct (8-22).
- Intimidation and oppression is not Gods wisdom for dealing with those more numerous or stronger than you (8-16, 22; e.g. business owners/bosses intimidating/oppressing their employees).
- Civil disobedience is what God expects and will bless when what the government requires of us is sin (17-21).
- God can direct us into menial talks as the means to equipping us to become His great kingdom builders (11-14 – bricks were used to build cities which meant the Israelites were also learning a very valuable skill-set for building God’s cities in the promised land).
- Abortion is an anti – versus pro-God issue, not a pro-life versus pro-choice issue (17, 21).
- Jesus is not only better than the angels (He is God = chs 1-2), but also Moses (1-6a).
- If we want to continue possessing Jesus as our mediator before God (i.e. “apostle and high priest of our confession”), then we must maintain our salvation (i.e. “if we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope” – 6b, “if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end” – 14) through: 1) always living in the present (7, 13, 15, also 4:7; Eze 33:10-19), 2) accepting and successfully passing (versus resisting) the tests God places in our life (7-11), 3) constantly receiving exhortation as to what God and His gospel requires (12-13), 4) faithful obedience to God’s commands (16-19 – “unbelief” = unfaithfulness [Grk – apistian] w/18 –“disobedient”).
- There is a difference between what is promised and what we currently possess. Eternal salvation is the former NOT the latter (1-11).
- Many of God’s former people (the 1st generation of the OC Israelites) failed to receive eternal salvation (i.e. to enter God’s eternal “Sabbath rest”) b/c they failed to understand that : 1) hearing/believing needs to be united w/faithfulness (1-2), 2) eternal salvation has always only been given to those who are faithful (2 compared to 3a – “as he has said” = [kathos] = “just as” signifying comparison or contrast), 3) though God’s work is finished (and He has entered His “rest”) the work of salvation (or entering into eternal rest/salvation) is not finished for God’s people (3b-5).
- The same principle (and warning) applies to God’s people today as it did to those before: eternal salvation is not yet in our possession (and will never be) unless we live never looking to the past (as our confidence) but rather remaining always faithful in the present (6-7; again Eze 33:10-19).
- The fact that Joshua (the one who took the 2nd generation into God’s promised land of rest) and David (God’s messiah king living in God’s promised land of rest) can still speak of a day/place of rest yet future (or to be striven for) means that eternal salvation is not yet possessed (but exists as something to yet be acquired or lost) since if it were already guaranteed or in our possession (w/o further obligation or work on our part as so many Christians claim today), then like God, God’s people wb referred to as having already entered such a place (6-10).
- Such knowledge (the past example of OC Israel and what the Bible teaches regarding a future rest still to be acquired) should motivate us to “strive” to be faithful and maintain our salvation (versus becoming like the disobedient OC Israelites) (11) since: 1) we know that we cannot escape God’s Word which testifies to such things – and already is judging our every thought, intention and action according to such truths (12-13), 2) Jesus will only be sympathetic/helpful and (ultimately) Savior to those who “hold fast” to this form of gospel “confession (i.e. are striving to maintain what they have gained thru such faithfulness) (14-16).